Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Off, First Aid - The Recovery Position

I have had an awesome few days and have hastily crammed lots in. Earlier on in the week I did both parts of the First Aid course with some instructors in training and instructor trainers watching on. All very enlightening. The CPR speed is a lot slower than I would have presumed and in the heat of the moment, even with the dummy it was quite easy to get drawn in to going much faster than necessary.  Later on that day I was fortunate enough to get to practice on a real dummy! Upon returning to my flat there was a gentleman swimming in what can only be described as barely digested food while adding to the ever expanding pool he had created for himself. I want to mention it because it was a surprise to me when I finally did get some words out of him he wasn't British or Irish. I know shocker right?! Anyway what was the point. Oh yeah. So being the newly qualified Emergency First Responder I leapt in to action with a bottle of water and after some contemplation around the good Samaritan part of my conscience a pillow. I placed him in the recovery position and left. He seemed chuffed with his new purchases and I must admit it felt good helping someone. I decided to leave him in what looked barring the sick, a pretty comfortable position to sleep it off for an hour, while I went for a run. At least I planned for an hour. I'm so glad to be out in Malta training for the big run, rather than back in the UK at the moment where the thought of sticking shorts on and going outside it bordering on crazy. After 45mins of beautiful running I love running on the road at night here, I decided to ask someone which way I needed to head as nothing looked familiar. The old gentlemen profusely explained that I needed to get on a bus and until after much explanation that Paceville is where I had run from he reluctantly told me which direction I needed to run, although and he stressed this it was a very long way. Undeterred probably by naivety or some form of smug arrogance I thought the old man unknowing of my running skills that was until I had run for another 30mins and still couldn't see anything I recognised. I decided to ask another Elderly Maltese looking gentleman who I have to say all seem friendly and speak good English. This guy was shocked not quite as shocked as the previous guy but none the less expressed that I was miles away from Paceville. His friend however was on the same ship as my previous friend and he tried convincing me to get one of the many as mentioned before Arrriva buses which seem to be no more than two minutes away every where I go. Again naive and arrogant I march on undeterred. Another 15mins later and I'm running along familiar coastline still not home but no longer feeling confused by every turn I take whilst desperately looking for the one big sky scraping that, I stupidly thought would be visible from most of the 19mile wide island. This said my training really needs to step up a gear I know this consciously and haven't done too much about it and this could well be my subconscious kicking in. The gentleman, the bottle, the pillow and thankfully the sick were all gone upon returning home.

Back to diving and I have been fortunate to go to a few different beautiful shore spots here on Malta this week. That is the beauty of diving here as many spots are well set up to easily access good diving from the road side. I have also enjoyed taking out a few different nationalities of divers or people discovering diving. It is so apparent to me that diving is universal. Helped as the only form of communication is a limited number of hand signals, everything else becomes translated through the eyes. That is why it is so rewarding to see people's faces light up as the ocean comes alive in front of them. Words  literally can't and probably shouldn't describe it.

I've had some great fun with Nev and Howard this week while we drive about all over the island picking people up, diving and dropping people off. Nev has been teaching me some above water tips that I won't write here but needless to say I will remember them. I have also cracked on with some of the required stuff for the Divemaster course. For some reason unbeknown to me I have hesitated with doing more and tried where ever possible to slow the course down. It is stupid really because I would be very comfortable doing the course in the estimated time. I think it is the rebel in me that wants to fight the norm and challenge any flaw I see. The challenge for me over the next few weeks is to be more accepting even when at first I want to question I need to learn to go with the flow. This said where I have been putting up barriers Nev, Howard, Sarah and Anne Japan have been putting me straight, I do really feel for them as I'm sure over the last few days I have driven a few people mad with my questioning of everything but I'm so happy with what I have learned. My head is becoming more and more crammed with knowledge this is extremely gratifying to feel I am learning lots. It is difficult taking some of the stuff on board that, my tech training doesn't agree with and I  really mean that, it is a massive internal battle that is often spilling out externally in the form of tech diving tourettes and unlike the stand up comedian with tourettes who was on the TV program The Undateables recently, my outbursts are less funny and more like the kind that would make you cross the street if I you were walking towards me.

Again I simply can't stress this enough Divewise have been such a professional outfit. I'm also chuffed as I have completed all my knowledge reviews which are the small quizzes at the end of each chapter in the DM book and a prerequisite for completing the course. Then the 120 questions Divemaster exam of which, I only got one wrong. I was chuffed, then on to a skills circuit where 24 SCUBA and Skin diver skills are demonstrated by me in the same way they would be demonstrated to a student on a course. I did struggle with a couple of the skills. Namely weight removal and replace due to my 12.5kilo weight belt that I required for use with my drysuit. I did however demonstrate an almost perfect kit removal and replace off the bat with no practice what so ever. I have to say the skill was explained to me very well by Howard and who with out which, I'm sure it would have been a lot more of a cluster fudge. Still with nearly all of the skills completed and only a couple that required further work I was very happy. For some reason I have created a huge pressure on myself to perform well. I think it is because I have some experience and probably more over the fact I have a massive gob that loves to dig me a nice grave that I like to skip around from time to time.

I'm really enjoying myself at the moment and can't wait to see what the next few days bring. Today I am taking out a fellow diver on a fun dive and I'm allowed to dive in my full twinset. Yes!!!!!!!

Things Learned Above ;

CPR is 100-110 compressions a minute. This is easy to calculate with a metronome.

Things Learned Below ;

Doing all the skills in a drysuit with a big weight belt is neither fun nor sensible.


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